At the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, unbeaten prospect Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs) had to go a little longer than his one-round August pro debut, but he was dominant in knocking out James Westley II (1-1) in the third round of a middleweight special attraction. The contest was televised by ESPN.
Ali Walsh, the grandson of legendary former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, ate a couple hard right hands in the first round, and he then knocked down Westley with a straight right hand shortly before the bell sounded to end the second.
Westley's corner stopped the fight following a knockdown early in the third round.
“I’m happy that my pro debut went the way it did. There’s stuff, of course, I have to work on. I know the crowd got excited seeing him land a punch, but I did not feel the punch. Maybe it was my energy, my adrenaline, but my hat’s off to him and his team. Mutual respect both ways, and it was a very good fight," Ali Walsh said.
“I’m blessed that I’m following the legacy of my grandfather. I think everyone who loves my grandfather who’s watching me… I love this legacy that I’m continuing.”
In other undercard action, another fighter with very famous family ties saw action.
Atlanta native Evan Holyfield (8-0, 6 KOs) — following in the footstep of his famous father, former undisputed cruiserweight/heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield— knocked out Charles Stanford (6-4, 3 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled six-round junior middleweight contest.
Holyfield connected with a looping left hook that staggered Stanford. After a right hand for good measure, Stanford was on the deck and in no position to continue.